Photonic bandgaps seek out Mother's good nature

Now that a team of researchers sponsored by the NEC Research Institute (Princeton, NJ) has successfully tricked Mother Nature, they are attempting to enlist her cooperation. The researchers are hoping photonic bandgap materials will bring the same good luck silicon did in the semiconductor industry.

Approaches to fabricating the photonic bandgap materials that may someday enable inexpensive mass-production of all-optical chips and optical integrated circuits, in the same way that silicon has enabled integrated semiconductors, have generally taken two routes, according to David Norris, a former research scientist at NEC, now at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN). One route is to use the technologies developed to manufacture computer chips, and the other route seeks out simpler and more natural methods.

Jin U. Kang, Chang-Seok Kim, and Jacob B. Khurgin

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